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 Posted: Sun Dec 4th, 2011 07:36 am
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csamillerp
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If the Confederates had won at Gettysburg what would have happened next in the war?

Would Enland have recongnized the south? Or would it have made no difference in the war?

I guess what i mean is if Lee had routed the AotP would Lee have tried to cut Washington's lines of supplies and communication or would he have attacked Washington? If he had somehow captured Washington  would that mean the end of the war or would it have bolstered the norths will to win?



 Posted: Sun Dec 4th, 2011 11:12 am
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Mark
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If the previous experience of the AOP is any indicator, the Yanks would have rallied near Baltimore and tens of thousands of New York and New Jersey militiamen would have been called into service. Lee's worst possible move at that point would have been to try and take Washington. It was simply too well fortified. But, hypothetically, if he had taken Washington, as long as the President got out (and he would have courtesy of the navy) the war would have continued. But, back to my original hypothetical, Lee would have been stuck between two very angry forces of Yankees. And if I would have been Lincoln I would have called at least a portion of Grant's Army of Tennessee east (kind of the opposite of what happened at Chattanooga). Lee might have worried the hell out of the north for a while, but I'm not sure this would have really made any significant strategic difference. By November Lee would have been out of ammunition, medical supplies, etc (anything that you couldn't strip from the countryside) and would have to retreat into Northern Virginia. There were no elections that November so there would have been no change of war policy. Because of the Emancipation proclamation, there is very little chance that Great Britain would have supported the South. So, by January 1, 1864, I see very little strategic change in the Eastern theater. Anyway, my $.02

Mark



 Posted: Sun Dec 4th, 2011 12:28 pm
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csamillerp
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I think people under estimate lee. I dont think anyone on this board can honestly say that lee was an incompetent commander. Lee would not have invaded the north if he didnt think it held a plausible chance of victory. If New york and New jersey had raised tens of thousands of milita which may have been possible, i dont think they would have been able to stand up to the ANV for 5 minutes let alone enough time to trap lee between grants troops that would take nearly a week to arrive. Lee's overall plan for the 1863 campaign was to relieve pressure from vicksburg, to achieve this he would have had to pose a threat to washington, by cutting off their lines of communication. I do not think Lee's army could have taken washington, not with the navy just offshore but Lincoln would still have had to withdraw from the city along with his entire cabinet.

If Lincoln had to withdraw from washington along with congressmen and senators numbering what, 600? How many soldiers would have to accompany them to the next capital? Where would those troops come from? Yes, i think Lincoln would have sent a telegram to Grant to dispatch a corp from his army to come east... but what would have happened with vicksburg?



 Posted: Sun Dec 4th, 2011 12:29 pm
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BHR62
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I agree with Mark. The North would have gathered forces from all over the North and from Grant's army besieging Vicksburg. Lee would have been forced back into Virginia through lack of supplies and the gathering of Union forces. Whether Washington DC would have fallen wouldn't have mattered. Lincoln was never going to make peace with a independent South. England would have gone against everything it stood for if it had supported the South after the Emancipation.

A President McClellan would have not been the South's friend either. He had distanced himself from the 1864 party platform. He couldn't in good conscience to the soldiers he led in battle allow a Confederate government to remain in power. His view was to return things back to pre-1861 status. Slavery would exist but the country would be united. At least that is what I read once many, many moons ago.



 Posted: Sun Dec 4th, 2011 12:33 pm
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csamillerp
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If Lee had defeated the North on its own soil and forced Washington to be abandoned, how could England not recongize the south? Again i dont think milita would have given lee much trouble.



 Posted: Sun Dec 4th, 2011 12:55 pm
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BHR62
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CSA...I'm not knocking Lee or the valor of the southern soldiers. But even if Pickett's charge carries the day on July 3rd...the ANV had suffered pretty heavy casualties. Lee was far from home with what would be a damaged army. The South's logistics wasn't capable of long term offensive operations on Northern soil. Meanwhile the North is on their home turf replacing its losses much easier than Lee.

If Lee would somehow score another victory there could be a slight chance of Vicksburg holding on. But Vicksburg was already on its last legs as Gettysburg was raging so even then it might not have helped out Vicksburg. I think Lee and Davis underestimated Lincoln's determination to keep the nation united. The guy wasn't going to give up.

England might have recognized the South after Gettysburg but the British had since the very early 1800's been very adamantly anti-slavery. Their navy patrolled the coasts of Africa hunting down slave trader ships. That is why after the Emancipation it made it very difficult for them to lend meaningful support to the Confederacy. They would have been ridiculed by the rest of the world for being hypocrits if they now supported a slave holding nation.

Anyway this is my view of things.



 Posted: Sun Dec 4th, 2011 01:10 pm
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csamillerp
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England Emancipated slavery in 1832 if i'm not mistaken. Also England recognized Brazil as a country even though Brazil was pro slavery. Another aspect to look at is the norths morale. If Lee had won on the 2nd day of gettysburg he would have had the man power to maybe take baltimore. If he had taken baltimore where the majority of it's citizens was pro south Lee could have made up for the losses he suffered at gettysburg.



 Posted: Sun Dec 4th, 2011 01:38 pm
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I was thinking England banned slavery in 1807...but that was the slave trading. You are right in that they didn't ban slavery completely until 1832. I know basically nothing about Brazil and England diplomacy so I will give you that one also. But I'm a stubborn one...I still don't think England enters the war. Russia was already pretty pissed at the Brits for stirring up trouble in Poland, which was Russian occupied. Things would have got interesting fast if Britain comes into the war. Not sure if England would be willing to go down that road to eventual World War.

I will also admit that the morale of the North would be effected negatively by a Confederate victory at Gettysburg. But Vicksburg would almost certainly fall anyway freeing up Grant's army to come east in parts or the whole thing to reinforce Meade's army. The fall of Vicksburg would still give the North a boost in morale there. For the record I had two ancestors in the 4th Texas (Hood's Brigade) at Gettysburg. They were in the Devil's Den and assault on Little Round Top. So I'm not hating on the South's valor. I just think the war was stacked in the North's favor from the get go.



 Posted: Sun Dec 4th, 2011 01:39 pm
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Also from what I have read Lee's army eat better while in northern territory than they did on home soil. I believe it was Shellby Foote who wrote that the invasion during the Gettysburg Campaign was not a total loss, due to the supplies he obtained.

Pender



 Posted: Sun Dec 4th, 2011 03:36 pm
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fedreb
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csamillerp wrote: If Lee had won on the 2nd day of gettysburg he would have had the man power to maybe take baltimore. If he had taken baltimore where the majority of it's citizens was pro south Lee could have made up for the losses he suffered at gettysburg.
Lee marched into Maryland in '62 with all flags flying and bands playing "Maryland my Maryland" with the intention of filling his ranks with pro rebel Marylanders and the response was underwhelming, why would it be different this time? Admittedly it would be on the back of a victory but if those pro southerners had not joined up to fight pre '63 I think it unlikely that they would do so now, volunteers were getting hard to find and conscription was the way of filling the ranks at this point in the war.



 Posted: Sun Dec 4th, 2011 04:48 pm
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Mark
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In regards to the northern militia, they didn't need to actually fight a battle with the ANV to be effective. Just by burning the bridges over the Susquehanna River they could have held up Lee for at least a week. Lee would have been alone in unfriendly territory. Not a good position to be in. By the way, Brazil was only recognized after a bitter debate in parliament, and the UK kept enormous pressure on the Kingdom until they finally did abolish slavery. But even if England had recognized the Confederacy, what then? The Royal navy might have broken the blockade, but the blockade was never very effective in the first place (see Archer Jones, "Why the Confederacy Lost"). If the South was to win, and I think they had excellent chances to do so, it would not have been at Gettysburg.

Mark



 Posted: Mon Dec 5th, 2011 12:11 am
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I think there was more concern during Lee's second invasion than during his first. He penetrated deeper into the North and people were concerned he might move on the major cities. And the Northern papers certainly see to have been following the invasion prior to Gettysburg. Looking at The June 20th and 27th editions of Harper's Weekly they carried the following articles

June 20, 1863

CARRYING THE WAR INTO THE
NORTH.

THE prediction of the Richmond papers that the summer campaign would be fought on Northern soil was no idle threat. For some time past General Stuart has been massing the advance-guard of the rebel army near Culpepper, and on 9th a bloody fight took place between that body and a picked detachment of the Army of the Potomac. Of the result of that encounter we know nothing as yet. But unless Stuart has been utterly overwhelmed and scattered, we may take for granted that even if our side has been successful the invasion of Pennsylvania has only been deferred for a time. The rebels are determined to make us feel "the horrors of war" in our homes. They are daring and desperate; the recent cavalry raids into Virginia and Mississippi show how much may be effected by a band of resolute men; there is every reason to expect, and no good reason to doubt, but that the soil of Pennsylvania and Maryland will be invaded within the month.

It may be asked, as it was asked when Lee invaded Maryland last fall, cui bono? What can the rebels gain by invading the North? They can gain simply this—that they will make our people feel the horrors of war, and give a practical point to the Copperhead cry for peace. They will both satisfy their thirst for vengeance and supply the citizens of Maryland and Pennsylvania with pretty substantial grounds for desiring the war to be ended. These ends, in the opinion of the Richmond press, amply justify the enterprise.

What are the prospects of success? The answer to this depends upon the Government at Washington. Because a brigade of swift cavalry was able to ride through the thinly-peopled State of Mississippi without meeting any rebel force, while another brigade contrived, by hard riding and dextrous management, to dash across from Culpepper to Gloucester Court House, that is no reason why a rebel corps d'armee should succeed in making good a foothold in the thickly-peopled State of Pennsylvania—unless we are to suppose that the Government neglects the most obvious precautions for the protection of the North.

If, on the first indications of a rebel purpose to cross the Potomac, the entire militia of Pennsylvania and 50,000 men from the adjacent States are called out if proper measures are taken by competent officers to remove from points of danger, or to protect adequately all depots of supplies; if the splendid but somehow amazingly unlucky Army of the Potomac be manoeuvred so as to fall upon the rear of the invaders, and cut off effectually their retreat to their base, in this case the invasion of the North would probably prove the end of the South as a pretended nation. If, however, matters are suffered to drift along, and the Government deludes itself into a belief that the rebels are not energetic enough or desperate enough to try to carry the war into Pennsylvania; or that, being in that State, they will not prove most formidable intruders, then it will be well for loyal people to prepare themselves for another season of heart-breaking disaster and disappointment.

It is a very simple matter, and one which should admit of no debate. If we can not keep the rebels out of Pennsylvania, there must be no more talk of foreign wars, for neither could we prevent the English from landing on our coast.



http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/civil-war/1863/june/negro-troops.htm

 


HARPER'S WEEKLY.
SATURDAY, JUNE 27, 1863.
THE INVASION OF THE NORTH.
GENERAL LEE has verified the predictions we published in our last number with startling exactness. A part of his army has invaded Pennsylvania, now occupies one or two of the southern towns in that State, and menaces Harrisburg. A wild panic pervades the State, and the military organization which should have preceded the invasion by several weeks is now being hurriedly completed, in the midst of universal terror and confusion. Even as far west as Pittsburg the operatives in the machine-shops have knocked off work, called for speeches, and fallen to building earth-works. Meanwhile the alarm has spread to the adjacent States. New Jersey, Ohio, New York, West Virginia, and even Massachusetts are hurrying forward their militia to the scene of action, and there is some reason to hope that by the time these lines are read a new army of volunteer militia, as numerous if not as efficient as Lee's forces, will interpose between the rebel advance and the capital of the Keystone State.

It is stated that the Government was fully aware of Lee's designs, and suffered the rebels to cross the Potomac for ulterior purposes of its own. This may be so, though the prize which it was proposed to purchase by the sacrifice of one half of Milroy's army and the flourishing town of Chambersburg must—one would think—have been tolerably substantial.

The rebel journals, and some organs of opinion here, intimate that it is Lee's design to push forward into the heart of Pennsylvania and Ohio, and to stay at Pittsburg or Harrisburg, or some other convenient point—in other words, to invade the North on the plan which we have pursued at the South, taking all he can seize, and holding what he takes. The event will probably prove the fallacy of this expectation. No army of the size of Lee's can operate as a movable or flying column without a base; and no body of troops small enough to operate as a movable column would be safe in any part of the State of Pennsylvania. A brigade or a division of cavalry, moving swiftly from place to place, and avoiding the large towns, may make successful raids even into Pennsylvania, and may destroy bridges and stores, and carry off large quantities of plunder, without running more than the average risks of war. But if Lee, or any of his generals, attempts to move a corps d'armee of twelve to fifteen thousand men of the three arms, into any Northern State, it is demonstrable that the chances would be heavily against their return. And if he moves with any larger force than this, he must keep his communications open with his base or perish. This has been the cardinal principle which has impeded our operations so seriously in Virginia. Whenever the army of the Potomac has moved any considerable distance from its base, its communications have been cut, and the very existence of the army endangered. It will be so with Lee. If he operates from Winchester, which is the most probable base for a campaign against Southern Pennsylvania, he will not dare to move much beyond Hagerstown or Chambersburg; for if he does, his communications will infallibly be cut, and his army will have to retreat or perish.

Many motives have been assigned for Lee's sudden march from Fredericksburg to Winchester. It is hardly worth while to discuss any of them, as the most plausible is after all mere conjecture. But it is not difficult to understand that the preservation of the morale of the rebel army and the rebel people, in view of the proximate fall of Vicksburg and Port Hudson and the loss of the Mississippi Valley, imperatively required that some dashing enterprise—involving possibilities of brilliant successes—should be undertaken, and this theory alone might suffice to account for Lee's recent strategy; which, in any other point of view, would seem to be unworthy of his reputation.

http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/civil-war/1863/june/lee-invades-pennsylvania.htm

 


DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE.
THE INVASION OF THE NORTH.
As we intimated in our last number, the rebels are fulfilling their threat of invading the North. It appears that the army under Lee commenced to move in a northwesterly direction on 9th June, and that General Hooker, discerning his intention, moved on 11th or 12th on a parallel line. On the morning of 12th, a rebel corps, said to have been Jackson's old corps, now commanded by General Ewell, passed through Strasburg. The alarm was given, and General Milroy at Winchester prepared for defense. He was attacked on 13th, and his assailants being far too strong to be successfully resisted, he fell back, after a severe fight, to Harper's Ferry. On the same day, 13th, a Union force at Berryville, and another body at Middletown, were attacked, and fell back to the Potomac. On 14th, Sunday, Martinsburg was attacked, and a sharp affair occurred. We have no precise account of how it ended. It is stated, however, that our forces made good their retreat to the Potomac. On the evening of 14th and the morning of 15th, a large body of rebel troops, how many or of what description we know not, crossed the Potomac in the vicinity of Nolan's Ford, and moved on Hagerstown, which was evacuated by our troops on 15th. In failing back, our people are said to have taken with them their stores, supplies, and guns. At 9 P.M. on 15th, the rebel advance-guard is said to have entered Chambersburg, which place we are likewise reported to have evacuated. Other rebel columns are described as moving on Mercersburg, on the one hand, and Waynesboro on the other. On 16th the rebel advance, consisting mainly of cavalry, was at Chambersburg and Scotland. The forces assembled for the protection of the State were at Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. Harrisburg was threatened, but it was believed that we could save it.

Of General Hooker's movements no precise account has yet transpired, though it is known that his entire army has moved in the direction of Manassas Gap. The President has called for 120,000 men, viz., 100,000 six months'men, namely, 50,000 from Pennsylvania, 30,000 from Ohio, 10,000 from Maryland, and 10,000 from West Virginia; and 20,000 New York State militia, to serve for a short period. Proclamations calling out troops have been issued by the Governors of Olio and Pennsylvania, and troops are moving with alacrity toward the scene of conflict.

STRENGTH OF LEE'S ARMY.
It has been ascertained that the reinforcements reaching General Lee from the Carolinas and elsewhere have swelled his army to double the number he had in the battle of Chancellorsville. His force is divided into three corps, of 30,000 men each.
http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/civil-war/1863/june/lee-invasion-north.htm
People were going to be following articles like these. I doubt had the Army of the Potomac been defeated that there would have been many men clambering to get into local militias to face off against the Army of Northern Virginia and Lee. The panic that would have created would have been more likely to get what Lee was after, fuel for the peace movement in the North to push for an end to the fighting.



 Posted: Mon Dec 5th, 2011 02:45 am
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Albert Sailhorst
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Local militia, or any militia, would have no effect against seasoned veterans. I'll grant that MAYBE there would be a furor to join a militia, but who would make up that militia that were not already in the army??.....Mainly older men and boys.....After weeks of training/drill, most would desert before EVER marching toward an enemy that would be long gone before the militia even got their weapons.....



 Posted: Mon Dec 5th, 2011 09:10 am
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BHR62
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I think it is highly likely Vicksburg falls even with a Confederate victory at Gettysburg. Grants army loads up on trains and heads east. Plenty of reinforcements to face Lee who's army even by the second day of Gettysburg had taken a lot of casualties with no hope of being reinforced.



 Posted: Mon Dec 5th, 2011 10:59 pm
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The problem there is that Grant did not come east immediately after Vicksburg. Chickamauga still had to happen, with Rosecrans being defeated and falling back to Chattanooga leading to Grant bringing the Division of the Mississippi to Chattanooga's aid. Grant remained in the west for the rest of 1863, a victory for Lee at Gettysburg could have forced an end to the war before Grant could be brought east. Bringing him east with all his forces before the end of the Chattanooga Campaign could have allowed the forces under Bragg to retake Confederate territory in the west.

Last edited on Mon Dec 5th, 2011 11:09 pm by Hellcat



 Posted: Mon Dec 5th, 2011 11:33 pm
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Mark
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Forced an end to the war, how? Lincoln was not going to negotiate under any terms other than restoration of the Union. That was unacceptable to the Rebels. Plus, Grant is going to leave some troops out west, and the North is already recruiting thousands of freedmen in the Mississippi valley. Finally, if we are playing hypotheticals, who is to say that Thomas couldn't have broken the Chattanooga siege on his own? He proved to be a solid commander.

Albert, the militia doesn't have to fight a battle to be effective. They just have to cause enough logistical problems for the ANV through burning bridges, blocking defiles, etc. to hold up Lee for a couple weeks. That would not have been hard to do and would not have required any combat.

Mark



 Posted: Tue Dec 6th, 2011 01:38 am
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csamillerp
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Mark, dont you think that lee would have used Jeb stuart to hold those bridges if they were that important? How fast did he cross the potomac with it flooded? didnt take weeks did it? Lincoln may not have wanted to negotiate a peace but if congress thought it would serve them then they ultimately had the true power of decision



 Posted: Tue Dec 6th, 2011 01:47 am
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Albert Sailhorst
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The local populace watched Lee march into Pennsylvania....They knew he was there, yet they (in the form of "militias" or otherwise) destroyed no bridges in his rear, right, left or ahead of his advance.....At best, hypothetically, ANY militia would have been a very minor annoyance, and of little value in stopping an Army.....Interesting conversation y'all have going on!!
Thanks!!!



 Posted: Tue Dec 6th, 2011 01:54 am
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csamillerp
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thats a great point Albert, i think most of the milita was massed in harrisburg and pittsburg. What would have happened if Lee would have marched on New York? with the draft riots going on would they have been able to deal with Lee and the rioters?



 Posted: Tue Dec 6th, 2011 02:48 am
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No Mark, with the Army of the Potomac destroyed it would not have mattered what Lincoln would have wanted. Lee would have been free to turn on Washington. Yes he would have had to deal with the forts ringing the capital. But unlike Early Lee would have had a larger force. And that would have cuased enormous fear in the Congress following the defeat of what was the principle Federal army in the east on northern soil.

Lee wasn't looking as much for pro-Confederate individuals to swell his numbers during his second invasion, he was hoping the pro-peace movement would be so terrified as to what he would do next that they would be able to sue for peace. And had he won at Gettysburg Lincoln would either have absolutely no say in the matter or he would have been impeached and removed from office if he didn't bow to the wishes of the peace movement. The battles in the east up to Gettysburg had been more and more making it look like the Army of Northern Virginia could not be defeated, especially after Lee took command. And when it was defeated the Federal General in charge tended to not follow through their victory or to retreat from it. Lincoln was breathing a sigh of relief when Lee was defeated at Gettysburg.



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